I’m a latecomer to miso. I dismissed miso soup many years ago when it was often linked to the “Size Zero” diet, thought to be popular with celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham.
More recent reading about miso paste tends to focus more on the health benefits rather than as a fad diet so it has caught my interest. Traditional miso soup contains dashi, a fish stock, and seaweed. I have swapped dashi for bouillon and left out the seaweed to keep this dish vegan for Veganuary.
A simple miso base soup can be made with stock, miso paste, silken tofu, spring onions and rice noodles. You can also add any vegetables you prefer or have left over. If I don’t have rice noodles in the cupboard, then I put potatoes (or sweet potatoes) in my soup. A potato and leek version is especially tasty. In this recipe, I’m adding broccoli and kale.
Miso is a Japanese soy bean paste. I admit that it is quite an acquired taste and smell (Dave thinks it smells like boiled socks and two of the kids aren’t keen!). To those of us who do enjoy it, it has a salty, sweet, earthy savoury taste. To enjoy the health benefits, never add boiling water, as this will kill the active enzymes. If cooked correctly miso is thought to have the following health benefits:
* contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein
*is an excellent source of vitamin K and a source of riboflavin
*provides small amounts of other vitamins
*is very high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content
*helps lower LDL cholesterol
*provides anti-ageing benefits due to high antioxidants
*strengthens the immune system and fights infection
*is a good vegetable source for B vitamins
*protects against free radicals
*has a comforting taste and is filling
Miso is high in sodium so use sparingly if you eat a low salt diet.
Broccolli and Kale are also full of vitamins and minerals, high in protein and thought to lower cholesterol. I find they make the bowl of miso even more satisfying for me.
The miso comes in the form of a thick paste.
I mix it with slightly cooled boiled water (remember not at boiling point) so it mixes in with the soup more easily. You can add it straight to the soup and mix it that way if you prefer but it may need whisking, which can mix up the tofu and other vegetables.
Broccoli & Kale Miso Soup
6 tablespoons miso paste
2 litres reduced salt Bouillon Stock (or home made stock)
half a broccoli
a generous handful of kale
100g ( a bunch) spring onions
349g (1 pack) silken tofu
300g straight to wok rice noodles (if you use dried noodles, cook them first then continue to follow recipe)
Boil kettle and leave water to cool. Measure 6 tablespoons miso paste in a jug. Cover with warm water and mix until a liquid. Leave to stand until needed.
Make 2 litres of stock in saucepan.
Add broccoli. Bring to the boil and cover pan. Leave to steam for 5 minutes until broccoli is tender.
Add the silken tofu, spring onion and kale. Boil for 3 minutes.
Add the noodles. Boil for 2 minutes.
Bring pan off the heat. When slightly cooled add the miso and stir well.
Serve your miso soup!
Enjoy! The say Miso Soup is the vegan and vegetarian answer to the healing “Chicken Soup”, so enjoy it all year around as a comforting, hearty meal that will boost your immune system and help you heal when feeling under the weather.
Do you like miso? If so, what’s your favourite miso recipe? It can also be used as a seasoning in other dishes and on grills.